Writing on Patreon

I’ve been on Patreon for some time, but don’t yet have a solid base. That’s solely on me and my lack of confidence in promoting my work and finishing projects (I’m getting better). My page is here: https://www.patreon.com/andyslavin

As I continue to post on Patreon, however, I have run into the consistent issue of how to post my writing. Right now my updates are links to a Google document that I have set to share.

I was wondering how other authors/writers accomplish this task of providing works to their patrons. I’ve toyed with the idea of using PDFs or a digital book format, but I would really like to have some ability to post formatted material directly to Patreon.

Any advice is helpful, thanks.

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I feel you.

Writing has been my first passion, without it, I’d never have transitioned to visual work. But even then, writing is what I find to be the most pure form of creativity. That said, I get everything that you’re saying.

I commend you for going at Patreon with writing.

You might want to post whatever you write in your actual blog instead of google documents. Might help more.

PDFs for completed works are a good idea. You can upload a link to your blog posts. It’s what I’m planning to do for my ebook novels. Upload the PDF formatted work into an announcement/release blog and let those who have access to it download the file directly from there.

That might be a good direction for you to take.

But for WIP writing, I’d just post it in the actual text blog.

Good luck with everything!

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I think I just needed to hear someone else say it.

The main problem I have had with posting WIP stuff in the blog is that there is almost no ability to format text, and previewing what it will look like has been a time wasting pain. I ended up with the Google doc mostly because I can post a link easily and revise as I go, so when someone is reading they will always be looking at the current version.

PDF will probably be my preferred method; I can always just upload a new PDF to the old post with an edit update (if I understand this correctly).

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For some reason I hadn’t considered the PDF option. That’s an interesting thought that I might end up trying out!

I agree with the blog problems. It’s so difficult to format poetry properly. When I get done writing a four or five-stanza poem in Word, I’ll inevitably have to redo all the line breaks. Tedious.

Another question I wonder about: is it best to keep new posts patron-locked when trying to grow a patron base for writing, or should everything be public? I generally make posts public after a month or so, by which time I’ve posted a new private update, but I’m wondering if that’s hindering my ability to get people interested.

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Hi Andy, I’m a writer myself and I’ve had some luck recently in building a readerbase.

Personally I post my work in progress to Pastebin, which allows me to release regular updates without much hassle. When the stories are complete I convert them to epub format so they’re readable on Kindle and Nook, and on mobile devices like phones and tablets. I make everything free and there are no paywalls, which seems to be working out well for me.

A good way to garner interest is to post your work to websites that host writing like StoriesOnline.net, and other such sites. I write erotic fiction so there are far more options for me in that regard, but there are some sites and communities out there that cater to SFW content. My suggestion is to keep everything free and cast a wide net by getting your work up in as many places as possible.

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I have certainly felt the formatting pain. I switched to Google doc format for no other reason than to alleviate that stress. I have gotten feedback that it’s not as readable as I’d hoped, so a change is imminent.

As for free content, I’ve decided to keep just almost everything free just on principle. I have been trying out periodical story writing, so the only stuff I would make patron only is the last part (meaning climax or conclusion). I haven’t really worked out my reward tiers or goals yet though, so it would only take $1 to read the endings to these stories.

I feel like that would be a good enough incentive to get potential patrons to join in, while still providing content for everyone.

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Just looking around online, the resources for science fiction authors are few and far between. The threshold for fiction writing is already fairly high if you’re looking to publish, and there just aren’t many places willing to accept sci-fi.

Posting on free sites seems like a good strategy for building a reader base though, so I greatly appreciate that advice. I’ll dig around and see if I find something I like, I tend to be a bit picky with websites after a bad experience with a EULA that claimed ownership of all of my work caused me to discontinue a webcomic what feels like a lifetime ago.

Wow that’s some bad luck, I was under the impression that EULA’s weren’t worth much legally? Though I guess it always costs money to challenge that kind of thing in court.
The only place I can recommend that doesn’t deal exclusively in erotic fiction is StoriesOnline.net, where I’ve had quite a lot of luck. Good amount of views, lots of feedback, generally responsive staff. The only issue I ever had with them was that they introduced their own automatic Ebook system without informing me or asking permission, which was a problem because Ebook downloads were one of the incentives I used to get people to visit my Patreon. They weren’t selling them though, so we were able to resolve that amicably.
Speaking of which, if you’re able to produce high quality Ebooks or art (or even use some of your proceeds to buy art like I do) you can incentivize people to visit your page. For example at the end of all my stories I have a few lines of text telling people that they can download free character art and epub files from my Patreon, as most literature websites of course won’t let you host things like that. That seems to draw quite a lot of traffic.

Looking at StoriesOnline.net, I’m a bit hesitant because “sex stories” and “erotic stories” are prominent key words. In terms of branding, that’s not something I want associated with my work in the same way that I wouldn’t want to post my work on a site that focuses on horror.

But they do have an affiliate, SciFiStories.com that appears to be the flavor I am looking for. There’s also FineStories.com for more general fiction writing. All of these are owned by the same parent, so thank you for pointing me (and anyone else reading) in a good direction for building a user base.

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I’m trying out three different formats for posting writing. I’m curious to see how each one plays on different mobile devices. It may be a good idea to offer more than one for each post, so that users can decide for themselves which format is the best.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/world-building-8393241

Thanks again for talking through this with me, thread co-contributors.

What kind of resources for sci-fi writers are you looking for, that you’re finding scarce? I might be able to help. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been able to post most things from Word directly but some of the formatting has been off. If I post shorter excerpts, say under 2,000 words, this works out. The PDFs work out but I get what you’re saying. I’ll think on it because I do occasionally give away free books to my supporters.

Sascha Illyvich

Resources might not be the best word. Sites that are willing to exclusively host sci-fi content is more what I meant. Most sites are otherwise oriented, probably for a good reason. Genre fiction can get pretty niche.

The magazines are great (Asimov’s and Analog, for example), but it’s hard to get published there. Right now I’m looking at Wattpad as a way to get more eyes on my stuff, but I’ll have to see how that works in the long run.

Thanks for the offer! I’m definitely open to suggestions.

To be totally honest when people pay me for writing I just post it and make sure that they see it. I either directly PM and link them to the post, send it to their emails or just hotlink everything through Drive.

When you’re creating a community of your readers, write about what they’re interested in. The LAST thing you want to do is post about the craft of writing. That’s mainly of interest to writers.

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Trouble is, my patron base so far is actually interested in writing. I’m still trying to figure out how to draw in new people, or what a potential base would like.

It’s more of a “go with what you know” necessity right now, but I agree that it should change. Thanks for the input though, something for me to think about for sure.

Fellow writer here (https://www.patreon.com/wtfjht). The way I approach this is a little different than most.

I write my blog posts and publish my newsletter for free (here https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/), but then make a plea to support the work through a Patreon “membership.” Members don’t get the output of my writing (it’s already published elsewhere), but rather they get access to me and behinds the scenes type of stuff.

This works well because posting publicly gives your work more reach. The more people are exposed to you, the more opportunities you have to pull them in as Patrons.

Also, most people are going to consume your work through an omni-channel, so don’t be afraid to cross-pollinate your work across platforms. Just make sure everything is linked and pointing back to either your website or your Patreon page – like a funnel.

Hope that helps. -M

Thanks, Matt!

A blog seems like a really good way to go that would fit my style. I’ve put out some stuff on Wattpad, but I feel like that will just vanish into the infinite void of submissions. Something more interactive is definitely preferable.

Checked out your site as well, good on you for trying to keep tabs on all the tomfoolery going on right now. What the fuck just happened today is a good name for it.

Thanks! Platforms like Medium are nice because distribution is baked in. Maybe just consider that a type of marketing activity in order to suck people back to your Patreon?

I’ve also seen writers (and musicians) “window” their releases. For instance, release new material to your patrons first. Then a week later share it wide. Gives you a two-step approach to providing value to the patrons but also lets you push your work out wider.